Making the Tzitzis strings

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Making the Tzitzis strings:

Introduction-Understanding how a string is made:

To understand the laws applicable to the making of the strings of the Tzitzis, one must first have basic knowledge in the string making process. The process of making a simple string from raw materials, such as wool or cotton, is a multi leveled procedure. The following are the steps:

  1. Shearing: First the material, such as wool, must be sheared from the sheep.
  2. Teasing: Next, the sheared wool must be teased, or cleansed of unusable parts.
  3. Scouring: Next, the teased wool must be washed and cleaned to remove any grime and dirt.
  4. Carding: Next, the scoured wool must be carded, or combed to untangle its knots and create smooth threads. The carded wool can then be rolled into a smooth ball of material. In Hebrew this process is called Niputz.
  5. Roving: Next, the carded wool is ironed and stretched into roving, which is thin fine strips of wool that look similar to a thread, although are not yet spun and will hence tear easily.
  6. Spinning: Next, the carded wool ball is spun through a spinning machine to form threads. In Hebrew this process is called Teviyah.
  7. Interweaving: Next, if one desires to make thick and durable strings, one interweaves multiple threads, thus forming a strong thread or yarn. In Hebrew this process is called Shezira.[1]
  8. Dyeing: Bleaching the wool can take place prior to any of the above steps.

 

A. The raw material used to make the strings:[2]

Garment making materials: The Tzitzis strings may only be made from materials that are used for making garments. If one used materials that are not useable for garment making, then these strings are invalid for Tzitzis.[3] Thus, one cannot make the strings using the scraps of wool that come off the sheep when they sit near thorny areas; nor from the fibers that shed from the sheep; and nor from the leftover material that remains by the woof of a woven garment. If one used any of these materials to make Tzitzis, the Tzitzis is invalid.[4] The same applies to all poor quality wool from which garments are not made, that they are invalid for Tzitzis.

The type of material: The Tzitzis strings may be made of any material of which a Tallis can be made [i.e. wool; silk; cotton; not leather; linen only in a time of need].[5] Nevertheless, it may only be tied to a four cornered garment of that same material, with exception to wool Tzitzis of which the custom is to use for any material garment. See Chapter 3 Halacha 2 for the full details of this matter.

The color of the material: All colored strings are valid for Tzitzis. Nevertheless, it is disputed whether the Tzitzis color must match the color of the garment. Practically, the custom is to use white Tzitzis on all colored garments. See Chapter 3 Halacha 4 for the full details of this matter.

Material used for idolatry:[6] Raw materials that were worshipped may not be used to make the threads of Tzitzis unless they completely lose their original appearance when turned into a thread. Thus, the wool of an animal that was worshipped is invalid to be used for Tzitzis.[7] However, flax that was worshipped while still attached to the ground, may be used to make Tzitzis.[8] [However see Chapter 3 Halacha 2 that initially one is not to make linen Tzitzis.]

Stolen or borrowed material: See Halacha E!

 

B. The process of making the strings-Spinning/טוויה & Interweaving/שזירה:[9]

The raw material of wool or other fabric must be spun[10] [[טוויה into a thread and then interwoven[11] [[שזירה into a string for it to be a valid string for Tzitzis.[12] [This means that each of the eight Tzitzis string must itself be made up of more than one thread. If one used a single thread as one of the eight Tzitzis string, the Tzitzis is invalid.]

 

Q&A

How many threads must be interwoven to make a string?[13]

It suffices to interweave two threads together[14], and according to some Poskim[15] one is not to initially interweave more than two threads. Others[16] however rule that the string is to be interwoven using 8 threads. Practically, the custom today is to be stringent to follow both opinions.[17] The manufacturers[18] take two separate threads and fold each thread into four. Each four part folded thread is then interwoven, forming two strings, each made up of four threads. These two strings are then interwoven, thus forming a string that is made up of two separate threads [as requires the first opinion] that have each been folded into four, for a total of eight threads, as requires the second opinion.

Is one to fold the same thread into two and then interweave it or is one to interweave two separate threads?

The thread is to be folded into two and then interwoven.[19] Alternatively, one can take two separate threads and then interweave them. See the previous Q&A that in today’s Tzitzis manufacturing two separate threads are folded to four and then interwoven, thus following both options.

 

C. Must the strings be made “Leshma”?[20]

Both the spinning of the fiber into threads [[טוויה and the interweaving of the threads into a string [[שזירה, must be done “Leshma”, for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis.[21] If either the spinning process or the interweaving process was not done Leshma, for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, then the string is invalid for use, [and one who uses even one such strings for his Tzitzis, his Tzitzis is invalid].[22] [Thus, typical strings or threads found on the market are invalid to be used for Tzitzis.]

Leshma by the Niputz/Carding of the wool:[23] The process of Niputz/carding[24] the wool is not required to be done Leshma, for the sake of the Mitzvah, and so is the custom. [It is hence permitted to have this stage performed by a gentile or by machine.] However, there are meticulous Jews [Baal Nefesh] that are stringent upon themselves to require even this stage of Niputz to be done Leshma.[25]

How is it done Leshma-What is one to say?[26] The making of the string “Leshma” is accomplished by verbally reciting prior to the spinning, and prior to the interweaving, that he is doing so for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. Telling the spinner/weaver to do it Leshma:[27] If a [Jewish] woman is the one making the strings, one is to warn her to explicitly verbalize prior to the spinning and prior to the interweaving, that she is doing so for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. [If she did not verbally recite this statement, but was told prior to her work that she is to “spin Tzitzis for me for my Tallis”, it nevertheless remains valid.[28]]

Thinking the Leshma:[29] In all areas that Leshma is required, it is questionable if thinking the words suffices [initially or Bedieved]; meaning that he think in his heart that he is doing this action for its required purpose, or if he must verbalize the words, and thinking alone does not suffice [even Bedieved]. Practically, [one is to always verbalize the words of Leshma, and even Bedieved] one is to be stringent by a Biblical requirement of Leshma [to invalidate the action]. However, in a case where the requirement of Leshma is under dispute, one may be lenient. [Practically, regarding if the Tzitzis was spun without verbalizing the Leshma-see Q&A for the final answer!] 

 

 Q&A

May one initially think the words of Leshma in his mind rather than verbalize it?

No. One must initially verbalize the words.[30]

Bedieved: If one stated in his mind that he is weaving the Tzitzis Leshma, but did not verbalize it, the Tzitzis is valid despite him not having verbalized his intent.[31] However some Poskim[32] leave this matter in question. Some Poskim[33] rule one may even initially purchase such Tzitzis, as they are Kosher Bedieved. Others[34] however rule one may not purchase such Tzitzis, and only if they were already tied to the garment may one be lenient.

What if one is in doubt if the strings were spun Leshma?[35]

One must be stringent and consider the strings to not have been spun Leshma.

How often must one recite “Lesheim Mitzvas Tzitzis” during the spinning process?[36]

The statement of Leshma is only required to be said prior to one beginning the spinning.[37]

If one made an interval in midst of the spinning process, must he repeat “Lesheim Mitzvas Tzitzis” prior to continuing? Once the Leshma statement has been recited it is not required to be repeated even if one made a long interval in-between. [This however only applies to the current batch of wool which one said Leshma on.[38]]

 

How often must one recite “Lesheim Mitzvas Tzitzis” when spinning many bags of wool?[39]

So long as an interval was not made in-between, it suffices to say it one time. If however an interval was made one is to repeat it prior to continuing.

 

Is there a Hiddur to do the shearing of the wool Leshma?[40]

Some Gedolei Yisrael were scrupulous to do so, although it is not mentioned in the Poskim.

 

May the Niputz/Carding be done by machine for those who are meticulous to also do this stage Leshma?[41]

Yes. One is to intend to do so Leshma at the time of activating the carding machine.

 

Is the roving[42] of the carded wool included in the spinning process, and must hence be done Leshma?

Some Poskim[43] rule the roving of the carded wool is included in the spinning process [Tevia] and hence must be done Leshma. Other Poskim[44] rule it is not included in the spinning process, but rather in the Niputz and it is thus not necessary to do it Leshma. Practically, those that are lenient have upon whom to rely, and this process may thus be done by machine.[45]

 

What is the law if Leshma threads were interwoven with non-Leshma threads?[46]

The string remains valid so long as the string contains at least two Leshma threads.

What is the law if a non-Leshma string was used as one of the four strings of a set?[47]

If one of the strings of a set is made of invalid material, that entire set is invalid, as the string is not nullified.

 

 D. Who may make the strings?[48]

Being that the strings must be spun and interwoven Leshma, the following restrictions apply regarding who is valid to make the Tzitzis string:                                                                                           

Women:[49] It is permitted for Jewish women who are above the age of Mitzvos to make Tzitzis strings Leshma [and so is the age old custom[50]]. Women may perform both the spinning and interweaving process of the Tzitzis string Leshma.[51] [A woman is believed to say that she verbally recited that she is doing it for the sake of the Mitzvah, even if she was not supervised.[52]]

Gentile:[53] A gentile is invalid for making the Tzitzis strings. If a gentile was involved in the string making process, either by spinning the material into a thread [טוויה], or by interweaving the threads into a string [שזירה] the Tzitzis is invalid. This applies even if a Jew was standing over the gentile and telling him to make the strings for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, nevertheless the strings remain invalid.[54] [This applies even if the gentile stated he is doing it Leshma.[55]] Nevertheless, if the Jew assists the gentile even slightly in the [spinning and interweaving] process, it is valid.[56]

Children:[57] If a child either spun or interwove the strings, the Tzitzis is invalid. If however there was an adult Jew supervising the child’s work and telling him to make the string for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, then the string is valid.[58] [This however only refers to a child that is mature enough to understand what he is doing and what he is being told. If however the child is of such young age that he does not comprehend his actions, and what he is being told, then the strings are invalid, even if an adult was standing over him.[59]]

Cheresh/Shoteh:[60] If a Cheresh [deaf-mute] or Shoteh [insane person] either spun or interwove the strings, the Tzitzis is invalid. If however there was an adult Jew supervising the Cheresh or Shoteh’s work, and telling him to make the string for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, then the string is valid. [If however the person is of such mental retardation that he does not comprehend his actions and what he is being told, then the strings are invalid, even if an adult is standing over him.[61]]

 

Summary:

Gentile: A gentile is invalid to make the Tzitzis strings unless a Jew assists in its making.

Women: Women are valid even initially to make Tzitzis strings.

Children: Children are only valid to make Tzitzis strings if they have supervision of an adult Jew telling them to do so Leshma.

Shoteh/Cheresh: A Shoteh and Cheresh is only valid to make Tzitzis strings if they have supervision of an adult Jew telling them to do so Leshma.

 

Q&A

May a non-observant Jew perform the spinning process of the strings?[62]

No. This applies even if an observant Jew is supervising him.[63] However, the Poskim[64] conclude that non-observant Jews which are considered Tinokes Shenishbu are valid to be used for the spinning process so long as they are trained to do so Leshma. Practically, one should only buy Tzitzis from Jews that are G-d fearing and can be trusted to do everything as is required in Halacha.[65]

May a Shabbos observant Jew that does not wear Tzitzis spin the strings?

Yes.[66] Practically however, one should only buy Tzitzis from Jews that are G-d fearing and can be trusted to do everything as is required in Halacha.[67]

 

Is machine made Tzitzis Kosher?[68]

Some Poskim[69] rule machine made Tzitzis is invalid.[70] Other Poskim[71] rule machine made Tzitzis is valid[72], and so is the ruling of the Chabad Rabbeim.[73] Practically, one is to avoid using machine made Tzitzis.[74] However, if hand-made Tzitzis is not available then machine made Tzitzis may be used.[75]

How to make machine Tzitzis Leshma: The machine must be turned on by a Jew for the sake of the Mitzvah, even according to the lenient opinion. Whenever the machine stops in middle, it is to be turned back on only by a Jew for the sake of the Mitzvah. 

The Niputz/Carding:[76] The Niputz/carding of the Tzitzis may be made by machine, even according to those who are stringent to require it to be done Leshma. One is to intend to do so Leshma at the time of activating the carding machine.

The roving:[77] The roving of the Tzitzis may be made by machine, even according to those who are stringent to require it to be done Leshma. One is to intend to do so Leshma at the time of activating the roving machine.

A mechanical machine:[78] A non-electric machine which is run by human power is not considered a machine in the above regard and is hence valid according to all opinions.

 

E. Owning the Tzitzis strings:[79]


One must own the Tzitzis strings used to tie to the corners of his garment.[80] Therefore, those Tzitzis strings that are Halachicly defined as borrowed, as will be explained, are invalid and may not be used by the borrower to tie to the corner of his Tallis.[81] Likewise, stolen Tzitzis that Halachicly still retains the ownership of the original owner, as will be explained, is invalid.

Borrowed strings:[82] Borrowed Tzitzis strings are considered the ownership of the borrower if they were borrowed with the revealed intent of using them as Tzitzis for one’s garments, or if they were borrowed with intent to return a different set of Tzitzis to the lender. Thus, if one borrows Tzitzis strings from his friend and one knows that his friend is aware that he is borrowing it for the purpose of tying the Tzitzis to his Tallis for the sake of the Mitzvah, and it was on this basis that he lent him the Tzitzis, then the borrower may even initially use them for his Tallis. This applies even if the lender stipulated that these exact strings must eventually be returned to him, after the borrowing period expires.[83] If the Tzitzis were borrowed on the premises that the borrower will return a different set of Tzitzis to the lender, then the borrower may even initially use the borrowed Tzitzis for his Tallis, even if the lender is unaware of the borrowers intended use.[84] If however the lender stipulated that the borrower will return that same set of Tzitzis after the borrowing period expires, and the lender was unaware that the borrower is borrowing the strings for the sake of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, and rather thinks that he intends to use them for a different purpose, then they are invalid.[85]

Stolen Tzitzis:[86] Stolen Tzitzis that is Halachicly considered to still belong to the original owner, is invalid. Thus, if one stole fabric, such as one stole raw wool, it is invalid for him to use it to make Tzitzis strings unless it has legally[87] transferred to his ownership by him making the material into threads.[88] Even in such a case, the thief may not recite a blessing on such Tzitzis.[89] If one stole Kosher Tzitzis strings that were woven Leshma, they do not transfer into his ownership by tying them to his garment, and he may thus never use them as Tzitzis for a garment. If one used them to make Tzitzis, the Tzitzis is invalid.[90] [In such a case, it is considered one is wearing a Tallis without Tzitzis, and he transgresses the Biblical command against wearing a Tallis without Tzitzis.[91]]

Purchasing stolen Tzitzis:[92] If one purchased stolen Tzitzis strings from a thief, then if the original owner has given up hope in ever retrieving the strings, the strings are valid to be used for Tzitzis.[93] [One may even recite a blessing on such Tzitzis.[94] Certainly this law applies if one purchased stolen fabric, and then used the fabric to create threads for the Tzitzis strings. This same law applies if one received the Tzitzis as a present from the thief.[95]]

 Summary:

One must own the Tzitzis strings used to tie to the corners of his garment. Therefore, borrowed Tzitzis strings that are required to be returned to the lender, and were not borrowed with intent to use for the Mitzvah, are invalid Tzitzis and may not be used by the borrower to tie to the corner of his Tallis. Likewise, stolen Tzitzis that Halachicly still retain the original ownership of the owner, from whom it was stolen, is invalid.

 

Q&A

May one purchase Tzitzis on credit, such as using a credit card; check, IOU document or a promissory note?

Some Poskim[96] write that the meticulous are careful to pay for the Tzitzis at the time of purchase and not pay on credit.[97] Many Poskim[98] however rule this is not necessary. The Chabad custom is not to be careful in this matter[99], and so is the worldly custom.[100]

If one refuses to pay:[101] If one purchased Tzitzis on credit and refuses to pay the seller upon request of payment, then it is possible the Tzitzis are considered stolen, and are hence invalid.   

 

May one buy Tzitzis strings from a child?[102]

One may not buy Tzitzis strings from a child under Bar Mitzvah[103] unless the child does not own the Tzitzis strings and is simply selling them on behalf of an adult.[104]

 

What is the law if one tied the strings to his garment prior to owning the strings?[105]

One may not wear the garment until he acquires the strings. When the acquisition is made the Tzitzis is valid and is not required to be retied.

 

What is the law if one accidently switched his Tzitzis strings for his friends and used his friends Tzitzis strings to tie Tzitzis to his Tallis?

Seemingly, one may not use the Tallis, and the Tzitzis are invalid until he purchases them from his friend, or has his friend agree to take his Tzitzis in exchange. Once the acquisition is made the Tzitzis is valid and is not required to be retied.

Is one to avoid using strings that he did not pay for, such as strings that he received as a present?

So long as one owns the strings, they are valid, irrelevant of how he acquired them, whether through purchasing or as a present. Nevertheless, the Zohar emphasizes the importance in using one’s own money to purchase objects of a Mitzvah.[106]

May one wear Tzitzis that he stole from his friend as a mere prank?[107]

No.

______________________________________

[1] The three stages of Niputz; Teviyah and Shezira is hinted to in the abbreviations of the words “Shatnez” which is written in approximation to the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. Shatnez stands for “Shia/Niputz; Tavi/Teviyah; Noz/Shezira”. [Derisha 11/1 in name of Maharl]

[2] 11/10; Michaber 11/5; Menachos 42b

[3] The reason: As the Torah states “Hakenaf” which teaches us Min Kneaf, that the strings must be similar to the corner of the garment, and just as the garment is made from garment material, so too the strings must be made from garment material. [Admur ibid; M”A 11/9; Hamaor]

Other opinions: Some write the reason is because using such material is a belittlement for the Mitzvah. [Michaber ibid] The M”A ibid negate his opinion based on the Baal Hamaor, and so rules Admur ibid.

[4] The reason: As all of the above materials are not fit for garment making, as they are wool waste from which garments are not formed, and the Torah states “Hakenaf” that the strings must be similar to the garment. [ibid]

[5] This is opposed to materials from which a Tallis is exempt from requiring Tzitzis, such as plastic, nylon and leather.

[6] 11/13; Michaber 11/8; Avoda Zara 47a

[7] The reason: Although worshipped animals, and that which is attached to it, is not forbidden for non-Hekdish use, and therefore its wool is not forbidden in benefit, nevertheless it is forbidden to use such items for the sake of a Mitzvah being that it is repulsive to Hashem. This can be seen from the fact that the worshipped animal is forbidden to be used as a Karban on the Mizbeiach, and therefore the same would apply to the wool that is on it. Now, although when one creates Tzitzis the wool changes from its original form, as previously it was raw wool and now it is turned into threads, nevertheless it still retains its original appearance and is recognized as wool. [Admur ibid; M”A 11/12]

[8] The reason: One who worships flax that is attached to the ground may use it to make Tzitzis, as an item which is attached to the ground is not forbidden in benefit. Furthermore, it is not even considered repulsive for Hashem being that it has completely transformed from the way it was at the time it was worshipped, as previously it was mere wood and now it has been transformed into threads; its original appearance has completely left it. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid]

[9] 11/2; Michaber 11/1 [spinning] 11/2 [interweaving]; Menachos 42

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if interweaving was not done to the thread, the Tzitzis nevertheless remains valid. [Elya Raba 11/2 in name of Nachalas Tzvi brought in P”M 11 A”A 3] This follows the opinion of some Rishonim [Rambam 1/10] that holds the Tzitzis strings do not need interweaving at all even initially. [mentioned in Admur 12/7; M”A 11/4]

[10] Spinning is the process that takes place in the turning of raw carded material into a thread. Raw materials, such as raw wool or cotton that came straight from the animal or field, do not form threads. They are simple weak fibers that break apart from each other with the small pull of a finger. The first step is to clean the raw wool from any dirt, called scouring. The wool is then bleached, to whiten its color. Then the wool is carded, which serves to comb the wool from knots and make it into smooth fibers. In Hebrew, this stage is called Niputz. The first stage in turning the clean and smooth raw fibers into an actual thread is called spinning. The wool or cotton is spun with the use of a spinning machine, which spins and tightens the fibers together, thus creating a single long thread. Spools of thread used for mending and sewing usually consist of this long single thread, which is wrapped around the spool. However in Tzitzis making, this thread is invalid for use as Tzitzis and must go through a second stage called interweaving,    

[11] In this stage, one takes two or more threads that were spun and interweaves them, thus forming a strong rope or string. Thus, while a regular thread is a single strong string that was made by spinning fibers together, the Tzitzis string is made by the weaving of two or more of these strings to each other, thus forming a much stronger product. See Q&A that this is done by folding two single threads into four, interweaving each folded thread separately, and then interweaving the two strings together.

[12] The reason: This is learned from the verse “Pesil Techeiles/A wick of Techeiles”, meaning that the string should be spun and braided similar to a wick. Now, the command of the Techeiles strings and the white strings are juxtaposed in the verse, as the verse states “Gedilim Taaseh”, and hence just as the Techeiles strings must be spun and braided, so too the white strings must be woven and braided. [Admur ibid based on Sefri; Taz 11/2; M”B 11/14]

[13] M”B 11/14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/11

[14] Rishonim in next footnote; M”B ibid; Biur Halacha 11/2 “Vetzerichin Shezira”

[15] Implication of Shaareiy Teshuvah 11/2; Pischeiy Teshuvah 11 in name of Kiryas Chana 27; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 62 Rishonim that mention interweaving two threads: Ittur Tzitzis 1; Rashi in Hapardes Tzitzis; Abudarham Seder Atifas Tzitzis; Rabbeinu Bechayeh Shelach.

The reason: As there are 64 words in the Parsha of Tzitzis and the four sets of Tzitzis accumulate to 64 threads. [8 strings x 2 threads x 4 corners] [Bechayeh ibid]

[16] M”B ibid in second custom; Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid in custom; Chida in Shiyurei Bracha 11/4; Peri Eitz Chaim Tzitzis; Kitzur Shlah; Ben Ish Chaiy Noach 10; Lev Chaim 1/86; Kaf Hachaim 11/10; Daas Torah 11/4

The reason: As 256 is the Gematria of the wings of the angels. [8 strings x 2 threads x 4 corners] [Bechayeh ibid]

[17] M”B 11/17; Lev Chaim 1/86; Kaf Hachaim 11/10; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[18] This process was described to me [the author] by Mishkan Hatecheiles as the process they use for making the strings. Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid writes that this process is the widespread custom today of all Jewry.

Other opinions: Some Poskim describe a different interweaving process of making the 8 strings. [See Lev Chaim 1/86; Kaf Hachaim 11/10; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 66]

[19] M”B 11/14; Biur Halacha 11/2 “Utzerichin Shezira”

[20] 11/3; Michaber 11/1 [Spinning]; 11/2 [Interweaving]; Sukkah 9a

[21] The reason: This is learned from the verse “Taaseh Lecha/Make for yourselves” which teaches that the Tzitzis must be made for the sake of the Mitzvah and obligation. [Admur ibid]

[22] Admur ibid; M”A 11/3; M”B 11/15 and Biur Halacha “Leshman”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if the spinning was done Leshma but the interweaving was not done Leshma, the Tzitzis nevertheless remains valid. [Ateres Zekeinim 11/2; P”M 11 A”A 3; brought in M”B ibid] Other Poskim rule if the interweaving was done Leshma then even if the spinning was not done Leshma, the Tzitzis is valid. [Ittur, brought n Beis Yosef 11]

If the beginning of the spinning was done without any intent and its end was done Leshma: In such a case the Tzitzis is valid. [Taz 271/3; Tzemach Tzedek 2; Maharshag 2/76] However some Poskim are stringent. [See M”B 11/6; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/6 footnote 40]

If the spinning was done without any intent but the interweaving was done Leshma: In such a case the Tzitzis is valid, as the end intent reflects the true intent of the beginning. [Taz ibid; Tzemach Tedek 2; Maharshag 2/76] However some Poskim are stringent. [See M”B 11/6; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/6 footnote 40]

If one spun the wool Leshma but he did not think anything in his mind during the interweaving: The Tzitzis is valid. [M”B 11/15; Biur Halacha “Leshman”; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/5] As we assume that the current action of interweaving follows the original action of spinning which was done Leshma. [ibid]

If a string was not spun Leshma can it be unraveled and respun Leshma? See Maharshag 2/76; Shevet Halevi 1/6; Kaneh Bosem 1/4; Kinyan Torah 1/97

[23] 11/3; Rama 11/1; Levush 11/3; Mordechai; Aguda; See Shulchan Menachem 1/14

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to be stringent that also the Carding/Niputz is to be done Leshma. [Maharal of Prague, brought in Derisha 11/1; Rav Akiva Eiger; Chasam Sofer 6; M”B 11/3; Kaf Hachaim 11/1] See Igros Kodesh 13/116 regarding a person who wanted to publicize this ruling to the masses and the Rebbe told him that he should emphasize that this is only according to the Mahral’s opinion and is not agreed to in the Shulchan Aruch.

[24] The Niputz/Carding is the process of turning the raw wool or other material into smooth and untangled fibers which can then be spun into threads. Raw materials, such as raw wool or cotton that came straight from the animal or field, cannot be spun into threads in their current state. The fibers of this material are knotted and entangled to each other and hence must first be combed and smoothened. This process of combing the wool is called carding, as it is done by passing two pinned cards over the wool. In Hebrew this stage is called Niputz. This stage precedes the spinning proceeds called Teviya/.טוויה

[25] As requires the Maharal of Prague and Chasam Sofer, brought in Poskim ibid; See Halichos Shlomo 3/19

[26] 11/3; Siddur Admur; Michaber 11/1

[27] Siddur Admur; See M”B 11/7

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and other opinions-Telling her suffices: In the Shulchan Aruch ibid Admur rules that alternatively to verbalizing that one is doing it Leshma, if a [Jewish] woman is the one making the strings, one can tell her to “spin Tzitzis for me for my Tallis.” This implies that the woman does not need to verbalize this herself, as Shomeia Keoneh. [See Tzemach Tzedek 2/4] So rules also Michaber 11/1; Mordechai 949; Glosses of Rav Akiva Eiger

[28] As rules Admur in 11/3; Michaber ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun if in the Siddur Admur holds that doing so is invalid, or simply that it is best initially for her to verbalize it.

[29] Admur 32/31; Sefer Hateruma 192; Rosh Sefer Torah 3; M”B 11/4

[30] 11/3; Siddur Admur; Michaber 11/1; See Admur 32/31 above that even Bedieved there is room to invalidate it, and one must be stringent by a Biblical requirement.

[31] Tzemach Tzedek 2/4; Even Haezer 285/3; Ketzos Hashulchan 6 footnote 36; Radbaz 1/154; Meishiv Davar 3; Minchas Baruch 1; Aruch Hashulchan 11/5; Kaf Hachaim 11/2; See Tehila Ledavid 11/4

[32] M”B 11/4; See Admur 32/31 brought above

[33] Tzemach Tzedek ibid

[34] Kaf Hachaim 11/3

[35] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/3

[36] M”B 11/5; See Biur Halacha 14/2 “Belo Kavana”

[37] The reason: As it is all a single Mitzvah. [ibid]

[38] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/5 footnote 36

[39] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/5 based on Biur Halacha 14/2 “Belo Kavana”

[40] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 2

[41] Minchas Yitzchak 96/3; Beir Moshe 7/1 Elektri

[42] Roving is the stage between the Carding [Niputz] and spinning [Teviyah] in which the carded threads are stretched, ironed and bleached in preparation for the spinning. The question is asked as to which stage this process Halachicly belongs to.

[43] Zekan Ahron 1/3-4; Imrei Yosher 1; Shevet Halevi 1/5 and Kaneh Bosem 1/1 concludes one is to be stringent

[44] Mechzeh Avraham 3; Maharshag 2/76; Sheiris Yisrael 8

[45] Minchas Yitzchak 5/26; Even Yisrael 7/2; Zekan Ahron ibid; Shevet Halevi ibid

[46] See Lehoros Nasan 1/2

[47] Rav Akiva Eiger 11; Imrei Noam 9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/3

[48] 11/4

[49] 11/3; 14/2 that this applies according to all; Siddur Admur; Michaber 11/1; Taz 14/1; see Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/7

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that women may not make Tzitzis strings, neither the spinning nor the interweaving. [P”M 14 M”Z; Glosses of Nesiv Hachaim; based on Rabbeinu Tam Gittin 45 that invalidates women in the Tzitzis making process, being they are not obligated in the Mitzvah. The previous Poskim learn that even Rabbeinu Tam did not make his statement regarding manufacturing the strings but only regarding the tying of the Tzitzis to the corner and so rules Admur in 14/2 [based on Taz 14/1] that even Rabbeinu Tam agrees women are valid for the spinning and interweaving.]

[50] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/7

[51] 14/2; Olas Tamid 14/3; Taz 14/1

[52] M”B 11/7

[53] Admur 11/4; Michaber 11/2 in name of Rambam Tefillin 1/11; Biur Halacha 11 “Veyisrael”; Divrei Chaim 2/2

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if the Jew stood over the gentile during the process and instructed him to make it Leshma, then the Tzitzis is valid. [Rosh brought in Michaber ibid] However see Admur in Kuntrus Achron 11/1 that this ruling here applies even according to the Rosh, and the wording of the Michaber here is not fully accurate. So also writes Degul Merivava, Rav Akiva Eiger, Divrei Chaim ibid and Biur Halacha ibid that one may not rely on the Michaber’s ruling even in a time of need. However some Poskim defend the Michaber’s ruling in a time of need. [Mahrsham 4/63; Zekan Ahron 4; Chazon Ish 6/10; Minchas Shlomo 2/1]

[54] The reason: As a gentile does matters with his own personal intent and does not care to intend for what he was told by the Jew. [Admur 11/4; Taz 11/1] However see Admur 14/3 that if not for the verse regarding tying Tzitzis one would assume that a gentile may be trusted to do Leshma under supervision. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[55] Shaar Hatziyon 11/6

[56] Admur ibid; Rama 11/2

Other opinions: The Chayeh Adam 11/13 allows the above only in a time of need. See Binyan Shlomo 1/2 regarding if the gentile explicitly has in mind not to do it Leshma.

Tying the Tzitzis: A gentile is invalid to tie the Tzitzis even if a Jew assists in the tying. [See 14/3; Halacha 7B]

[57] Admur 11/4; 14/2 [that this applies according to all]; M”A 11/2 as explained in Kuntrus Achron 11/3; Elya Raba 11/11; Tzemach Tzedek 2

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that women [children, Cheresh and Shoteh] may not make Tzitzis strings, neither the spinning nor the interweaving, even if a Jew is standing over her. [P”M 14 M”Z; Glosses of Nesiv Hachaim; based on Rabbeinu Tam Gittin 45 that invalidates women [and children] in the Tzitzis making process, being they are not obligated in the Mitzvah. The previous Poskim learn that even Rabbeinu Tam did not make his statement regarding manufacturing the string but only regarding the tying of the Tzitzis to the corner and so rules Admur in 14/2 [based on Taz 14/1] that even Rabbeinu Tam agrees children are valid for the spinning and interweaving.] The M”B in Biur Halacha 11/8 “Tevaan Akum” concludes that one is not to initially allow a child, Shoteh or Cheresh to make the Tzitzis even if there is a Jew supervising him, although Bedieved or in a time of need one may be lenient.

[58] How often must the child be told to do it Leshma? The Biur Halacha ibid states that the Jew must constantly stand over the child and tell him to do it Leshma. This concept is not mentioned in Admur ibid. See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 59 based on Chazon Ish 6/10 that we follow the beginning of the action of the spinning regarding Leshma.

[59] Darkei Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 1/145

[60] Admur 11/4; M”A 11/2

Other Poskim: See previous footnotes!

[61] Darkei Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 1/145

[62] M”B 11/8; See Admur 39/1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/8

[63] P”M 460 A”A Hakdama

[64] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/8; see also Piskeiy Teshuvos 55/21; 136/2; 197/2; 460/2

[65] Ben Ish Chaiy Lech Lecha 3; Kaf Hachaim 11/4; 14/8

[66] M”B 11/7; See Tehila Ledavid 14/3 and his implication from Admur

[67] Ben Ish Chaiy Lech Lecha 3; Kaf Hachaim 11/4; 14/8

[68] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/2; Igros Moshe 3/2; 6/206, 293, 13/426; Shulchan Menachem 1/14 [p. 42]; Oholei Lubavitch 3/41

[69] Divrei Chaim 2/1-2; Imrei Eish 1; Mechzeh Avraham 3; Zekan Ahron 1/2-4; Halef Lecha Shlomo 35 Hashmatos; Machaneh Avraham 3; Mahariy Shteif 36; Imrei Yehuda 7; See Eretz Tzvi 1/5

[70] The reason: It is invalid being that the Tzitzis are required to be made Leshma, and if a gentile cannot weave Leshma then certainly a machine cannot. Furthermore, some of the above Poskim rule the Tzitzis must be woven by the energy of a human [Koach Gavra] as opposed to a machine. [Poskim ibid]

[71] Chesed Leavraham 3; Tiferes Yosef 1; Mahariy Hakohen 2; Achiezer 3/9; Chazon Ish 6/10; Har Tzevi 1/10; The following Poskim are Milameid Zechus on those that are lenient: Eretz Tzvi 1/5; Tiferes Adam 1/2; Beir Moshe 7/1 Elektri; Shevet Halevi 1/6; Yabi Omer Y.D. 4/20; Tzitz Eliezer 6/15; Tehilos David 2

[72] The reason: As Tzitzis is not required to be woven through human hands [Koach Gavra]. Furthermore, since the start of the machine is being done Leshma by an adult, and that is what makes the entire machine work, it considers the entire making process of the Tzitzis to be Leshma and by Koach Gavra. [Poskim ibid]

[73] Rebbe Rashab brought in Igros Kodesh of Rebbe Rashab 1/316, 4/226; Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 6/206 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1/14 p. 42; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1/10]

[74] Minchas Yitzchak 2/98; Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 6/293

[75] Directive of Rebbe Rashab to the refugees in Russia in 1910, brought in Igros Kodesh of Rebbe Rashab 1/316, 4/226; Igros Kodesh of Rebbe 3/2; 6/206 and 293; 11/494; 13/426 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1/14 p. 42; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1/10] See Likkutei Sichos 2/508

[76] Minchas Yitzchak 96/3; Beir Moshe 7/1 Elektri

[77] Minchas Yitzchak 5/26; Even Yisrael 7/2; Zekan Ahron 1/3-4; Shevet Halevi 1/5

[78] Kinyan Torah 5/2

[79] 11/11 and 14/14; Michaber/Rama 11/6

[80] The reason: As the Torah states “Veasu Lachem” that they are to be made from one’s possession, hence excluding stolen strings. [Admur ibid] This is similar to the requirement that one own the Lulav on the first days of Sukkos. [Kuntrus Achron 11/3]

[81] The reason: As the Torah states “Veasu Lachem” which means that the Tzitzis are to be made from material that one owns. [Admur 14/14]

[82] 14/14; Michaber 11/7; Ittur Tzitzis 2; M”A 11/11

[83] The reason: As in such a case it is considered that the Tzitzis were given to him a present on condition of return [Matana All Menas Lehachzir]. [Admur ibid; M”A 11/11]

[84] The reason: As in such a case the Tzitzis is not considered borrowed at all [שאלה], but rather lent [הלוואה], similar to money that is lent, and is hence considered to be the complete ownership of the borrower. [Admur ibid; Michaber ibid]

[85] If however one borrowed a Tallis from a friend, in which case it is exempt from Tzitzis for the first 30 days, then even borrowed strings are valid to be tied to the borrowed Tallis and a blessing may be recited over it, as explained in Admur 14/4. [See Chapter 2 Halacha 12 amd Chapter 3 Halacha 10] Furthermore, it is implied that such strings are valid even after 30 days, Vetzaruch Iyun.

[86] 11/11-12; Michaber/Rama 11/6

[87] How does a stolen item transfer to the ownership of the thief? A stolen object becomes the legal ownership of the thief if the owner has given up ownership in ever retrieving the stolen object and the stolen object has received a change of form, such as being spun into threads. Alternatively, if the thief made a change to the stolen item in a way that this change cannot be undone, such as he dyed the raw wool, then it transfers to his ownership even if the owner has not given up ownership. [Admur ibid; M”A 11/10]

[88] 11/12; Michaber/Rama 11/6; Nimukei Yosef

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule stolen Tzitzis is invalid in all circumstances. [Michaber 11/6; Taz 11/5] Admur in Kuntrus Achron 11/4 negates his opinion.

[89] Admur ibid; Rama ibid; as rules Admur in 649/5 and Rama in 649 regarding a stolen Daled Minim

The reason: As this is not considered a blessing, but rather a blasphemy and disrespect, being the object came to his hand through stealing. [Admur ibid] 

[90] 11/11; Michaber and Rama ibid

If the thief later purchased the strings from the owner, after tying them to his garment: See Biur Halacha 11/6 “Mitzemer” that leaves this matter in question, as to whether the strings must be his at the time of the tying, otherwise it is Taaseh Velo Min Hassuiy. However, majority of Poskim rule the Tzitzis are valid. [See Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/19 footnote 132]

[91] Minchas Chinuch Mitzvah 325 explains that when the Torah invalidates the Tzitzis due to it being stolen then one is not considered to be fulfilling it at all, and it is as if he is wearing a Tallis without Tzitzis.

[92] Admur ibid; M”A 11/10

[93] The reason: As the buyer has acquired the strings through the disowning of the owner, and change of domain from the thief to the buyer, as explained in Choshen Mishpat 353/3; 361/4. [ibid] See however Kaf Hachaim 20/7

[94] Admur in Kuntrus Achron 11/3; Admur 649/6; M”A 649/2; Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Olas Shmuel 1-5

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule a blessing may not be recited, being that it is a Mitzvah Haba Beaveria. [M”B 11/30 in name of Taz; P”M and Gra; Beir Heiytiv and Levush 649; See Shoel Umeishiv 1/143] This applies even if the person who purchased the Tallis did not know it was stolen. [Shnos Chaim 257] If the Tzitzis is only questionably stolen one may be lenient. [M”B 649/12 to recite a blessing over it]

[95] Choshen Mishpat 353/4; However if a relative inherited it from the robber, then it is not considered his. [ibid]

[96] Machaneh Ephraim Kinyan 3; Biur Halacha 11/6 “Mitzemer”

[97] The reason: As the Tzitzis must be his for them to be valid, and Biblically the acquisition is invalid until payment is made. However Rabbinically, an acquisition is valid even without payment. Regarding if a check can acquire Biblically: See Kinyan Torah 3/93

[98] Shoel Umeishiv Reviah 3/29; Sdei Chemed Lamed 141/24; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/19 footnote 132

[99] Sefer Haminhagim p. 139 [English] regarding the four species, and the same would apply regarding Tzitzis

[100] Sdei Chemed ibid

[101] See M”B 11/27 that if the seller is “Ayel Venafik Azuzei” then it is stolen; Choshen Mishpat 190/10-16; Aruch Hashulchan 11/22; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/18

[102] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/18; 658/11; Minchas Yitzchak 5/65; Kaf Hachaim 658/66

[103] Ksav Sofer 129 brought in Biur Halacha 658 “Lo Yitnenu”; Minchas Yitzchak 5/65

[104] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/18 footnote 129

[105] See Biur Halacha 11/6 “Mitzemer” that leaves this matter in question, as to whether the strings must be his at the time of the tying, otherwise it is Taaseh Velo Min Hassuiy. However majority of Poskim rule the Tzitzis are valid. [See Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/19 footnote 132]

[106] Zohar Teruma 128; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 127

[107] Shoel Umeishiv 1/143

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